Netgear has confirmed that as many as 5,000 routers contain a security flaw that would give a hacker full control over the router's settings without needing login or password information. That's not that many routers in the world, all things considered, but it is an extremely serious flaw.
With access to your settings, a hacker could use your router to access your home network, snoop on your computers, tablets and smartphones, steal your files, look through your webcam and more. Hackers have even been known to hijack wireless networks to commit crimes that would be traced to you instead of them.
This flaw was discovered by a computer security researcher here in the U.S. named Joe Giron. He noticed some settings had been changed on his router and eventually figured out that somebody somewhere was tracking all the websites he was visiting. They could have done a lot more than that, though.
It's what's called a "zero-day" vulnerability. It means that in this case, Netgear had "zero days" to fix the problem. It was already being used in the wild, and we don't know how many times or who's behind it. Thankfully, it didn't take Netgear very long to come out with an update that closes the hole and fixes the problem.